Attacks against ships off the coast of Somalia have brought piracy to the forefront of international attention, including that of the Security Council. Action against pirates in many cases involves the use of force. Practice shows that the navies involved limit such use of self-defense. Use of force against pirates off the coast of Somalia seems authorized as an exception to the exclusive rights of the flag state. The paper focuses on instruments of international law in combating piracy and armed robbery. The Author highlights mainly Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation, SUA and Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf.